179. Love is the Enemy - The Eternal Collection

-

English
151 Pages
Read an excerpt
Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more

Description

Beautiful young orphan Nerina is appalled to find that her uncle and resentful Guardian is forcing her much-loved cousin, Elizabeth, into a marriage of convenience with the disdainful, if handsome and rich, Sir Rupert Wroth. As if that was not bad enough, Elizabeth is already secretly betrothed to the man she truly loves, an Captain in the Army.So loyal Nerina exploits her startling similarity to her cousin and takes her place, marrying Lord Wroth and giving Elizabeth time to elope with Adrian Butler, who is about to sail to India with his Regiment.Having suffered terribly at the hands of her hateful Uncle Herbert and the lecherous Lord Droxburgh, Nerina has come to the conclusian that she hates all men. And, having discovered that Sir Rupert Wroth’s plans to marry Elizabeth were nothing more than a means to carry on his illicit affairs, while keeping up appearances for the sake of Queen Victoria and his ambitious political career, she makes no exception for him. But what if, in spite of herself, the irrepressible turmoil that Nerina feels in her heart is not hate after all, but the first stirrings of love? "Barbara Cartland was the world’s most prolific novelist who wrote an amazing 723 books in her lifetime, of which no less than 644 were romantic novels with worldwide sales of over 1 billion copies and her books were translated into 36 different languages.As well as romantic novels, she wrote historical biographies, 6 autobiographies, theatrical plays and books of advice on life, love, vitamins and cookery.She wrote her first book at the age of 21 and it was called Jigsaw. It became an immediate bestseller and sold 100,000 copies in hardback in England and all over Europe in translation.Between the ages of 77 and 97 she increased her output and wrote an incredible 400 romances as the demand for her romances was so strong all over the world.She wrote her last book at the age of 97 and it was entitled perhaps prophetically The Way to Heaven. Her books have always been immensely popular in the United States where in 1976 her current books were at numbers 1 & 2 in the B. Dalton bestsellers list, a feat never achieved before or since by any author.Barbara Cartland became a legend in her own lifetime and will be best remembered for her wonderful romantic novels so loved by her millions of readers throughout the world, who have always collected her books to read again and again, especially when they feel miserable or depressed.Her books will always be treasured for their moral message, her pure and innocent heroines, her handsome and dashing heroes, her blissful happy endings and above all for her belief that the power of love is more important than anything else in everyone’s life."

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 01 December 2016
Reads 0
EAN13 9781782139973
Language English

Legal information: rental price per page 0.0222€. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

Report a problem
OTHER BOOKS IN THIS SERIES
The Barbara Cartland Eternal Collection is the unique opportunity to collect as ebooks all five hundred of the timeless beautiful romantic novels written by the world’s most celebrated and enduring romantic author. Named the Eternal Collection because Barbara’s inspiring stories of pure love, just the same as love itself, the books will be published on the internet at the rate of four titles per month until all five hundred are available. The Eternal Collection, classic pure romance available worldwide for all time . 1. Elizabethan Lover 2. The Little Pretender 3. A Ghost in Monte Carlo 4. A Duel of Hearts 5. The Saint and the Sinner 6. The Penniless Peer 7. The Proud Princess 8. The Dare-Devil Duke 9. Diona and a Dalmatian 10. A Shaft of Sunlight 11. Lies for Love 12. Love and Lucia 13. Love and the Loathsome Leopard 14. Beauty or Brains 15. The Temptation of Torilla 16. The Goddess and the Gaiety Girl 17. Fragrant Flower 18. Look Listen and Love 19. The Duke and the Preacher’s Daughter 20. A Kiss for the King 21. The Mysterious Maid-servant 22. Lucky Logan Finds Love 23. The Wings of Ecstacy 24. Mission to Monte Carlo 25. Revenge of the Heart 26. The Unbreakable Spell 27. Never Laugh at Love 28. Bride to a Brigand 29. Lucifer and the Angel 30. Journey to a Star 31. Solita and the Spies 32. The Chieftain Without a Heart 33. No Escape from Love 34. Dollars for the duke 35. Pure and Untouched 36. Secrets 37. Fire in the Blood 38. Love, Lies and Marriage
39. The Ghost who Fell in Love 40. Hungry for Love 41. The Wild Cry of Love 42. The Blue-eyed Witch 43. The Punishment of a Vixen 44. The Secret of the Glen 45. Bride to the King 46. For All Eternity 47. King in Love 48. A Marriage made in Heaven 49. Who can deny Love? 50. Riding to the Moon 51. Wish for Love 52. Dancing on a Rainbow 53. Gypsy Magic 54. Love in the Clouds 55. Count the Stars 56. White Lilac 57. Too Precious to Lose 58. The Devil Defeated 59. An Angel Runs Away 60. The Duchess Disappeared 61. The Pretty Horse-breakers 62. The Prisoner of Love 63. Ola and the Sea Wolf 64. The Castle made for Love 65. A Heart is Stolen 66. The Love Pirate 67. As Eagles Fly 68. The Magic of Love 69. Love Leaves at Midnight 70. A Witch’s Spell 71. Love Comes West 72. The Impetuous Duchess 73. A Tangled Web 74. Love lifts the Curse 75. Saved By A Saint 76. Love is Dangerous 77. The Poor Governess 78. The Peril and the Prince 79. A Very Unusual Wife 80. Say Yes Samantha 81. Punished with love 82. A Royal Rebuke 83. The Husband Hunters 84. Signpost To Love 85. Love Forbidden 86. Gift Of the Gods 87. The Outrageous Lady
88. The Slaves Of Love 89. The Disgraceful Duke 90. The Unwanted Wedding 91. Lord Ravenscar’s Revenge 92. From Hate to Love 93. A Very Naughty Angel 94. The Innocent Imposter 95. A Rebel Princess 96. A Wish Comes True 97. Haunted 98. Passions In The Sand 99. Little White Doves of Love 100. A Portrait of Love 101. The Enchanted Waltz 102. Alone and Afraid 103. The Call of the Highlands 104. The Glittering Lights 105. An Angel in Hell 106. Only a Dream 107. A Nightingale Sang 108. Pride and the Poor Princess 109. Stars in my Heart 110. The Fire of Love 111. A Dream from the Night 112. Sweet Enchantress 113. The Kiss of the Devil 114. Fascination in France 115. Love Runs In 116. Lost Enchantment 117. Love is Innocent 118. The Love Trap 119. No Darkness for Love 120. Kiss from a Stranger 121. The Flame Is Love 122. A Touch of Love 123. The Dangerous Dandy 124. In Love In Lucca 125. The Karma Of Love 126. Magic For The Heart 127. Paradise Found 128. Only Love 129. A Duel with Destiny 130. The Heart of the Clan 131. The Ruthless Rake 132. Revenge is Sweet 133. Fire on the Snow 134. A Revolution of Love 135. Love at the Helm 136. Listen to Love
137. Love Casts out Fear 138. The Devilish Deception 139. Riding in the Sky 140. The Wonderful Dream 141. This Time it’s Love 142. The River of Love 143. A Gentleman in Love 144. The Island of Love 145. Miracle for a Madonna 146. The Storms of Love 147. The Prince and the Pekingese 148. The Golden Cage 149. Theresa and a Tiger 150. The Goddess of Love 151. Alone in Paris 152. The Earl Rings a Belle 153. The Runaway Heart 154. From Hell to Heaven 155. Love in the Ruins 156. Crowned with Love 157. Love is a Maze 158. Hidden by Love 159. Love is the Key 160. A Miracle in Music 161. The Race for Love 162. Call of the Heart 163. The Curse of the Clan 164. Saved by Love 165. The Tears of Love 166. Winged Magic 167. Born of Love 168. Love Holds the Cards 169. A Chieftain Finds Love 170. The Horizons of Love 171. The Marquis Wins 172. A Duke in Danger 173. Warned by a Ghost 174. Forced to Marry 175. Sweet Adventure 176. Love is a Gamble 177. Love on the Wind 178. Looking for Love 179. Love is the Enemy 180. The Passion and the Flower
Chapter 1 ~ 1848
Queen Victoria rose and gave her hand to the Prince Consort. Sir Rupert Wroth stifled a yawn. It had been a tedious evening, as was to be expected at Buckingham Palace. He wondered how anyone could enjoy the solemnity of these long-drawn-out Ceremonials and thought that perhaps Her Majesty was the only person present who found the stiff formality entertaining. The Queen was smiling as she began the slow dignified promenade through the Throne room. There was a fluster and a rustle of silk, satin, tarlatan and tulle as the ladies swept to the ground in low obeisant curtseys. There was the sparkle of Orders and Decorations as masculine heads were bowed. It would soon be over now, Sir Rupert thought and he felt a sudden craving for a breath of fresh air after this over-heated stifling atmosphere of starched pomposity. But Her Majesty was not to be hurried. She stopped to speak with the Prime Minister, Lord John Russell, and now she was smiling kindly on Lord Grey, the Secretary of State for War. The Prince Consort, severe and unsmiling, made an observation to Mr. Greville, which would undoubtedly be reported unflatteringly in his famous diary. At last the Royal procession was on the move again and Sir Rupert was ready to bow and then realised somewhat to his surprise that the Queen was about to speak to him. He looked down at her. It was extraordinary how, tiny though she was, she contrived to exude such an aura of regal dignity. It was impossible not to be in awe of her. Tonight she was smiling gaily, her eyes were bright and it was obvious that she had enjoyed the evening, but at other times that small mouth could be set in a hard line of affronted obstinacy and her eyes become steely with anger. “It is nice to see you here, Sir Rupert,” Her Majesty said in her clear well-modulated voice, which always seemed to be a tone lower than one expected in such a diminutive person. “I thank you, ma’am,” Sir Rupert murmured. “But when you come again,” the Queen continued, “we shall be glad to welcome at your side – a wife.” Sir Rupert had no reply ready. He was so astonished that for a moment he thought he could not have heard aright and then before he could even bow an acknowledgement of the somewhat obscure honour that was being accorded him, Her Majesty had passed on. The rippling wave of curtseying women and bowing men continued on down the room. Sir Rupert stood very still. Indeed he felt for a moment as if his brain was paralysed, as if he could not understand or take in the full import of what had been said to him. Then, as the doors were flung open by the red-liveried, gilt-laced flunkeys and the Royal procession with its attendant dignitaries and fluttering Ladies-in-Waiting disappeared from view, a murmur of voices restored his scattered senses. The murmur grew louder and the restraint that had held the gathering silent for three hours vanished like a mist before the sun. Suddenly Sir Rupert knew that he must get away and that he must escape before those around him began to question him. It would be only a matter of seconds before someone would be bold enough to ask him what the Queen meant. Was he already betrothed? What were his matrimonial plans? Who was the fortunate lady? They were questions that he had no intention of answering and, as he turned towards the door, there was an expression on his face that made those who were already approaching him shrink back abashed. He strode quickly from the Throne room, passing through the Green Drawing Room where refreshments were being served and down the wide crimson-carpeted stairs where the Yeomen of the Guard were on duty. Once or twice his name was called, a hand touched his arm and a friend attempted to impede his
progress, yet he was blind and indifferent to everything save his own urgent desire to escape, to reach the fresh air he had craved so urgently but a short while ago and which had now become an absolute necessity. At the door of The Palace he dismissed his carriage, which was waiting for him, and walked quickly past the Guard of Honour mounted in The Palace yard. Quite oblivious in his preoccupation to the big crowds waiting outside the gates he strode with long strides down The Mall. In his Court dress, knee breeches and silk stockings, his purple-lined cloak blown back by the wind to reveal the shining decorations on his breast, he was obviously a person of distinction and as such of interest to those who had waited long hours for a glimpse of Her Majesty’s guests. But it was not his clothes that made people stare at Sir Rupert Wroth. There were one or two ribald remarks as he passed, but there were many others that were invariably complimentary, softly spoken amongst the women who watched him hurry by. It would have been strange if they had not admired him. He was handsome enough in all conscience, tall and broad-shouldered, his clear-cut features admirably set off by his raven dark hair. There were few people who, meeting Rupert Wroth for the first time, were not impressed by his looks. But although nature might have intended him to be surpassingly and pleasingly handsome, the expression on his face was of his own making. Brooding and cynical there was a coldness and proud disdain in his eyes that chilled the most genial gesture of friendship. There was too something aggressively arrogant in the way he held himself, in the way he asserted his opinion or contradicted an opponent and there was a bitter twist to his lips that would have been more fitting in a man of middle age than in one who had not yet reached the prime of his manhood. And yet it was impossible to deny his attraction and one woman in The Mall said to another with a nudge in the ribs, “That’s the sort of man I’d like to lie with, dearie, a man who is a man and looks it! Though something’s upset his Lordship for sure. There’s a touch of the Devil in his face right enough.” She was not far wrong, for as Sir Rupert walked away into the darkness he was seething with a fury beyond anything he had ever experienced. Those who had stood beside him in the Throne room at Buckingham Palace might wonder what the Queen had meant by her remark, but he had no need to wonder. He knew that Her Majesty was giving him both a warning and a command. It had been so unexpected, something that he had not anticipated might happen in his cautious calculations, yet now that it had occurred he knew that it had been absurd to think that there would not have been those ready to spy on his private life. There was little the Queen did not know. She had her own method of learning the most hidden secrets about people she was concerned with. And yet he had imagined himself too clever to be found out. Only to be publicly disillusioned. More than that, he knew that he had received a direct instruction that he dare not disobey. Fool to have thought for one moment that his love affair with Clementine would pass unnoticed and not reach the ears of Court circles! He wondered how long the Queen had known about it – a month, two, three or perhaps even when it had started six months ago? No, not as long as that, for it was in January that Lord John Russell had spoken to him and said frankly that when Lord Palmerston resigned from the Foreign Office he would be offered the appointment. Sir Rupert had been overwhelmed. He had planned for it and worked for it, but he had not expected the realisation of his most aspiring ambition to come so soon. His political success had already been phenomenal, there was no doubt about that. From the moment he had entered the House of Commons he had been outstanding, first as a back bencher and then as an Undersecretary. He was only twenty-seven when he had been sent on a mission to the Colonies to represent Her Majesty’s Government. The Foreign Secretary had been ill and there was no one else in a ministerial capacity at that moment to take his place. Rupert Wroth had his chance of showing his capabilities and he had not failed those who had trusted him. He had in fact been brilliantly successful, so
successful indeed that Her Majesty had been pleased to Knight him for it and overnight he had become the most promising young man in the House of Commons. The aptitude for Diplomacy that he had shown during his mission had not been forgotten. The Prime Minister had singled him out again and again for special attention and soon after the New Year of 1850 had been heralded with its usual train of international incidents, the threat of War and a dozen Diplomatic crises, Lord John Russell had sent for Sir Rupert and told him frankly what was in his mind. He intended, he said, to remove Lord Palmerston from the Foreign Office. The Queen, who disliked the Foreign Secretary and had repeatedly complained of his behaviour not only to Lord Palmerston himself but also to Lord John, must, the Prime Minister thought, at long last be conciliated. “I have told Lord Palmerston so often,” the Prime Minister told Sir Rupert, “that Her Majesty’s uneasiness is not always groundless, but he pays no heed.” He went on to speak of the difficulties of foreign relations at such a crucial time in British history and Sir Rupert listened attentively, forgetting for once to look aggressive. But his hopes, like the Queen’s, of being rid of Lord Palmerston were to receive a severe setback. The Prime Minister’s intention of replacing the Foreign Secretary was defeated partly by the attacks made on the foreign policy of the Government by the Opposition and also by Lord Palmerston’s vindication of it in the House. It was a vindication that put him on a pedestal of popularity. Sir Rupert, listening from a backbench, knew that he would have to wait and wait patiently, at least to all outward appearances, for office. Well aware that time was on his side he was not unduly perturbed by this, but while he waited he amused himself or rather as usual suffered a woman to amuse him. His love affairs were already the subject of much talk and speculation and to choose Lady Clementine Talmadge at this particular moment had been a mistake. To begin with she was a notorious beauty and as such was very much in the public eye. Secondly she had a reputation for being indiscreet, which was bound to bring upon her head the censure of the strait-laced and easily shocked young Queen Victoria. Lady Clementine had spent the summer in the country and Sir Rupert had no idea how what happened in the rural North had so speedily come to the ears of those who were in London or Windsor. He had apparently underestimated for perhaps the first time in his life both his opponents and his friends. Striding now towards St. James’s Street, he felt the first heat of his anger ebb away from him and the cool calculation of his brain taking in the situation. He was well aware that behind him those who would be leaving The Palace would be chattering about what the Queen had said to him. There would be gossip of a hidden engagement, perhaps even of a secret marriage. Rumours of every fantastic sort would be rife before the morning, but only he and the Prime Minister would understand exactly what the Queen had said so clearly and unmistakably. As plainly as if she had put it into words, Sir Rupert thought, she had told him that she would tolerate no indiscretions in his private life if he was to become Foreign Minister in place of Lord Palmerston. What was more his present entanglement with a married woman had gone far enough. Before he came to Court again he must produce a wife acceptable to Society, a bride worthy of becoming the wife of Her Majesty’s Foreign Secretary. The calm insolence of it took his breath away and yet he could not help but admire the Queen’s methods, which were invariably direct. Indeed there was seldom any doubt left in the minds of those who listened to what Her Majesty required of them. He had laughed often enough in the past when by sheer force of will she had discomfited those who had opposed her. And yet now, when it happened to him, he did not find it in the least humorous. Sir Rupert stopped walking and saw where his feet had carried him. He found himself standing outside White’s Club. His foot was already on the first step when a faint burst of laughter came to his ears. He had no idea at what the members might be laughing, but it might be at himself. He pulled a watch from his pocket. It was barely ten o’clock. It was too early to go to bed and quite suddenly he
decided what he must do. He must see Clementine and tell her what had occurred. It was unthinkable that she should learn of his predicament from someone else. The Talmadges were in the country, where they had been the whole of the summer. Sir Rupert turned away impatiently from the door of the Club. He was tired of London, he would go to the country. He walked across Piccadilly and down Berkeley Square. As he went, a number of beggars and several women of easy virtue tried to attract his attention, but he neither heard nor saw them. He was making his plans with that clear icy concentration which those who worked with him in the House of Commons knew only too well. He was well aware that after what had occurred in The Palace this evening he must be careful. If he sought Clementine out too deliberately after what had happened, it would be playing into the hands of those who would be expecting him to do just this very thing and who would undoubtedly report it immediately to the Queen. Besides, being fastidious about such matters, Sir Rupert never, if it was possible, went to the Talmadges’ house. He and Lady Clementine met secretly and disguised as incognitos that they thought were impenetrable, when they were in London or in the glades and forests surrounding Wroth, where they were quite certain that no one would observe them. But apparently they had been wrong in imagining themselves unseen and Sir Rupert knew now as never before that they must be careful and circumspect. He would go at once to Wroth, he decided. There would be nothing wrong in that and the fact that the Talmadges’ estates matched with his could not be expected to deter him from returning to his own home. Once there he must contrive in some clever unobvious way to see Clementine at once. If he left tonight, he should be at Wroth before breakfast and he could then make his plans. He entered his house in Berkeley Square, handed his cape, hat and cane to the butler and in a calm unhurried voice gave orders for a carriage to be prepared immediately for the journey. “I heard at The Palace this evening,” he added, “from an old friend of the family that my grandmother is far from well. I expect she has forbidden anyone to tell me of the deterioration in her health, thinking that I should be busy at the House of Commons, but naturally I shall leave for Wroth at once.” “Very good, Sir Rupert,” the butler replied. “May I venture, sir, to express the hope that it is but a false alarm and that you will find her Ladyship well?” “I hope so indeed,” Sir Rupert said and leaving the hall he walked into the library. It was an excuse, he thought, that would serve well to ward off those who enquired the following day as to where he had gone. He walked across the room to a table set between the windows and poured himself a drink. He felt in need of one, yet when his lips touched the wine he knew that he was not thirsty. Instead, his mind was turning over and over again the thought of what lay ahead, marriage to some suitable girl. And where, he wondered, was he to find one? For his very varied experience of lovely women had not brought to his notice many marriageablejeunes filles. Sir Rupert gave a sigh and put down his wineglass. Perhaps Clementine would help him to find one, unless she was foolish enough to be jealous and inclined to advise him to flout the Queen’s instructions. But no, he was certain that she would not be as stupid as that. She knew as well as he did what lay at stake, the post of Foreign Secretary at the age of thirty-three. To find a parallel one would have to quote Pitt who had become Chancellor of the Exchequer when he was ten years younger. Sir Rupert took up his glass again and drank off the wine before he turned to leave the room. As he did so, his eyes caught sight of the row of invitations propped on the mantelpiece beneath the great Chippendale mirror. There were dozens of them, but one in particular, a large white card, held his attention. The Earl and Countess of Cardon – At Home,” he read, “on July 16that 3 o’clock at Rowanfield Manor, Rowan.” Sir Rupert stared at it for some moments. “Tomorrow at 3 o’clock,” he said aloud, “and Clementine will be there.”